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A Look at the Constitutional Amendments

            The struggle between state and federal government is a large part of American history. The individual states have often tried to prevent a strong central government; even before our forefathers could build the framework of our constitution. As evidenced by the civil war, the states failed in their attempts to hold political dominance and the federal government prevailed. .
             The 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments aided the North's vision of reconstruction. The amendments provided a series of advantages for the North's ideal Union. More specifically, the 13th amendment abolished slavery and provided blacks with an education. The 14th amendment allowed anyone born in the U.S. or a naturalized person to become a citizen and the 15th amendment forbade any state from preventing anyone the right to vote on basis of race, color, or condition of servitude.
             In other words the 13th amendment was among the first steps in freeing black slaves and giving them knowledge through education so they could have the opportunity to rise economically. The 14th and the 15th amendments gave blacks citizenship and suffrage, which would gave them political power. .
             Unfortunately the Thirteenth Amendment was rejected, or refused to repudiate the Confederate debt. Nor did any of the new governments allow African Americans any political rights or provide in any effective way for black education. This was resulting in each state passing its old slave code, which applied to African Americans. The north was infuriated by the restrictive black codes, because it violated their ideas of freedom. .
             The 14th amendment guaranteed repayment of the national war debt and prohibited repayment of the Confederate debt. The amendment's most important provision, was to defined an American citizen as anyone born in the United States or naturalized, thereby automatically making African Americans citizens. It also was intended to prohibit laws that applied to one race only, such as the black codes, or that made certain acts felonies when committed by black but not white people, or that decreed different penalties for the same crime when committed by white and black lawbreakers.

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